Engineering 101

University at Buffalo Selects Panasas for Academic Supercomputing Center

The University at Buffalo (UB), a research-intensive public university and the largest institution in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, has chosen Panasas’ ActiveStor Ultra high-performance computing (HPC) data storage to serve as the backbone for its Center for Computational Research (CCR).

CCR, an academic supercomputing center, provides computing resources to the 64 campuses within the SUNY network and supports UB researchers and affiliated partners, including industry, with access to advanced computing resources.

When faced with an increase in the quantity and complexity of mixed STEM workloads in addition to support and stability issues with its existing storage infrastructure, the University at Buffalo turned to Panasas, which provided 1.5 petabytes (PB) of ActiveStor Ultra storage. ActiveStor Ultra is a turnkey HPC storage appliance that runs the PanFS parallel file system to accelerate performance at every stage of the computational research process.

PanFS on ActiveStor Ultra features Dynamic Data Acceleration, a proprietary software feature that delivers predictable high performance by automatically adapting to the changing and evolving small file and mixed workloads in HPC and AI. Dynamic Data Acceleration eliminates the complexity and manual intervention of tiered HPC storage systems by maximizing the efficiency of all storage media in a seamless, total-performance system that automatically adapts to changing file sizes and workloads.

In this integrated system, NVMe SSDs store metadata, low-latency SSDs store small files, and large files are stored on low-cost, high-bandwidth HDDs. By dynamically managing the movement of files between SSD and HDD, and maximizing the full potential of NVMe, PanFS delivers the highest possible performance at the lowest cost for HPC and AI workflows.

“Supporting the high-performance computing needs of a group as diverse as faculty, staff and students – as well as local business and industrial partners – is a massive task, and the University at Buffalo and its Center for Computational Research are meeting that challenge every day,” said Jim Donovan, Chief Marketing Officer at Panasas. “At Panasas, we believe storage technology should support innovation with a seamless and uninterrupted experience that optimizes productivity and time-to-quality outcome. We are proud to support UB and its mission of academic excellence.”

The University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities, composed of the nation’s leading research universities. As a part of its mission to enable research and scholarship at UB, CCR provides a wide range of consulting services in areas that include parallel computing, software engineering, scientific and medical visualization, bioinformatics, data analytics, and cluster management.

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